Capacity Tracker is a free, secure, online communication tool that allows General Practices (GP), Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) to provide real-time workforce and resource data to the PHN, enabling it to:
- view resource levels geographically,
- identify and address issues promptly, and
- help the health sector better manage resource and capacity issues.
Since launching in Australia in April 2020, Capacity Tracker has been adopted by General Practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Residential Aged Care Facilities across the Hunter New England Central Coast region to support continuity of care for the community through primary care.
Capacity Tracker is currently being implemented by PHNs across Australia.
How does it work?
Users provide updates on the status of their workforce, appointments, admissions, vacancies, PPE supplies and COVID-19 impacts through the online portal, which is fast, secure, accessible from any internet-connected device, and completely free, as it is funded by the PHN.
Why share this information?
The PHN uses data and reports from Capacity Tracker to analyse issues and challenges across the region and provide support to practices and facilities.
In particular, in response to COVID-19, the PHN has established links and devised response plans to work with various services and agencies to get the support and resources where they are needed as quickly as possible.
This may be through direct intervention, such as helping to find alternate GP support for a RACF in the event of an emergency Practice shutdown, or by providing advice or connections to a relevant service or organisation.
The PHN has responded to many alerts raised through Capacity Tracker, and the data provided by facilities and practices has enabled the PHN to successfully:
- Work with the RACGP to urgently fast-track a locum to support a regional general practice facing a period of having no GP to service the community, hospital and RACF,
- Urgently alert the PHN Emergency Operations Centre to a fire at a regional practice and plan for providing emergency supplies and clinic space,
- Provide support to a regional practice to ensure patient coverage during a critical period without adequate workforce resources,
- Dispatch masks to ensure practices and RACFs had sufficient PPE for periods between order and delivery of commercial supply,
- Locate an interim GP to care for residents when a GP servicing a Hunter region RACF was stranded due to border closures and unable to service his patients, and
- Oversee vaccine distribution during the 2020 influenza vaccination rollout, and - in conjunction with the Public Health Unit - redistribute vaccine supply from an RACF with surplus vaccine to an RACF in need of additional supplies.
Vaccination module (released February 2021)
In preparation for the rollout of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, a vaccination module has been developed and released in Capacity Tracker.
The new module allows general practices (GP) and residential aged care facilities (RACF) to advise the PHN of their:
- vaccine stocks available by location,
- authorised practices and immunisation locations,
- immunisers available by location, and
- staff and residents vaccinated (and declining to be vaccinated) in residential aged care facilities.
With awareness of vaccine supply, resourcing issues, and visibility of the location of authorised immunisers, the PHN can provide effective support by:
- redistributing vaccines (if required),
- promoting locations where vaccines are available,
- tailoring communications in response to vaccination progress across the region (including particularly high or low rates of immunisation), and
- advocating for General Practices, Aboriginal Medical Services, Residential Aged Care Facilities and the community.
Mask request form (released December 2020)
A mask request function was also recently released and is available to practices and facilities under the “business continuity” tab.
You will need at least one staff member for each organisation you are registering. It’s a good idea to have several registered users, so that updates can still be provided even if one staff member is away.
You will receive an email when your registration has been finalised, usually within one working day, and you can start using Capacity Tracker.